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Name: People v. Gomez
Case #: E062867
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 12/23/2015
Subsequent History: Rehg. granted 1/11/2016

Proposition 47 may apply to reduce a felony conviction for unlawful taking of a vehicle (Veh. Code, § 10851), but the petitioner bears the burden of proving he took a vehicle worth less than $950. In 2014, Gomez stole a 2002 Chevy Suburban from a car dealership. Pursuant to a plea agreement, he pleaded guilty to unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle (Veh. Code, § 10851, subd. (a)) and was sentenced to two years in prison. Shortly after Proposition 47 passed, Gomez filed a petition to reduce the felony unlawful taking conviction to misdemeanor petty theft (Pen. Code, § 490.2, added by Prop. 47). Without hearing argument, the trial court denied the petition, reasoning that Proposition 47 did not apply to violations of section 10851. Gomez appealed. Held: Affirmed. Section 490.2 provides that, notwithstanding Penal Code section 487 or any other provision defining grand theft, any theft of property where the value of the property does not exceed $950 is a misdemeanor. Although Proposition 47 does not specifically state that a conviction for unlawful taking under section 10851 is eligible for reduction to misdemeanor petty theft, the court here concluded that a violation of section 10851 that involves a vehicle valued at less than $950 should constitute a violation of section 490.2. (Disagreeing with People v. Page (2015) 241 Cal.App.4th 714.) Following People v. Sherow (2015) 239 Cal.App.4th 875, the Court of Appeal held that Gomez carried the burden of alleging facts in his petition that the value of the car was under $950. However, Gomez did not allege that the Chevy was worth less than $950 and there was nothing in the record concerning the value. Gomez may file a new petition alleging sufficient facts to support his claim that his conviction was a violation of section 490.2.